Saddest picture of the century.
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02-02-2012, 07:15 PM
RE: Saddest picture of the century.
(02-02-2012 03:55 AM)arcticspear Wrote:  Some people think it's easy to stand-by and take pictures and do nothing.

I couldn't do it. The forced professional dispassion would be too much for me. That child was dying, beyond medical help, dying. The buzzards can smell death at least as reliably as medical science. I'd feel an irresistible urge to keep the child from dying alone. I can imagine that if I had to suppress that for very long I'd throw in the towel too. Kudos and sympathies to the few who can handle it. We need them.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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03-02-2012, 04:18 AM
RE: Saddest picture of the century.
(02-02-2012 04:57 PM)arcticspear Wrote:  It's obvious that this thread is a controversial lost cause... Everyone seems to believe what they read on the internet about this account. As for me, I was there, I took Kevin and flew him out. The aid station was less than a km from the airstrip... Kevin was standing right outside of the damn thing when the picture was taken.

No! He didn't spend 20-min setting up his camera. I don't know any photojournalist that spends more than 15 seconds adjusting for a shot.

All I can say is "Whatever helps you sleep at night!". As for me, this is my proof that no God exists - and it took a photojournalist like Kevin to give you something to bitch about.

I am honestly sorry for your lost, and I understand your anger about the reactions here. It must feel like your friend died and his work is not even appreciated. But it's not true like that. This stuff has to be shown to the right people. And it should be presented by someone like you who was there. But we are not the right people because as stated, we can only make a real change in our immediate surroundings.

Please think about this:
Most organisations that present public with pictures like this (and there are tons of so called charities that do that) will not really help.
And as I said the help that gets there (the little help I must say) is only short term solutions, it does not change the situation at all. Charities and social workers do stuff since years but did you see a REAL change? Now guess why not. It is because the government is not acting and that's the real problem. It's not us who are looking away, the people we elect are looking away and those are the people who have to be pressured, because we can keep sending money and material and social workers and teachers, if the environment doesn't change, the situation won't either.
What has to happen is that government gets enough pressure from the public (all over the world) so they would have to pump real ressources back into these regions. Houses and hospitals and schools being built, creating jobs by starting some proper businesses, release from all country depts... that's just a few things.

So when I see such a picture, you can't touch my emotional side with it. Because what I think about in such a case is that people are dying of starvation and bad health systems everywhere on this planet and on a dayly basis, not only there. The only difference is what I described above. And then I get angry because since such a long time our great governments everywhere could not get together to do something about it > raising the question, why at all are we electing those people in the first place? Are we so self important that we only elect who promises stuff for us? Or why are the parties that have good ideas about the world dismissed so fast without a deeper thought?

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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03-02-2012, 07:52 AM
RE: Saddest picture of the century.
(03-02-2012 04:18 AM)Leela Wrote:  
(02-02-2012 04:57 PM)arcticspear Wrote:  It's obvious that this thread is a controversial lost cause... Everyone seems to believe what they read on the internet about this account. As for me, I was there, I took Kevin and flew him out. The aid station was less than a km from the airstrip... Kevin was standing right outside of the damn thing when the picture was taken.

No! He didn't spend 20-min setting up his camera. I don't know any photojournalist that spends more than 15 seconds adjusting for a shot.

All I can say is "Whatever helps you sleep at night!". As for me, this is my proof that no God exists - and it took a photojournalist like Kevin to give you something to bitch about.

I am honestly sorry for your lost, and I understand your anger about the reactions here. It must feel like your friend died and his work is not even appreciated. But it's not true like that. This stuff has to be shown to the right people. And it should be presented by someone like you who was there. But we are not the right people because as stated, we can only make a real change in our immediate surroundings.

Please think about this:
Most organisations that present public with pictures like this (and there are tons of so called charities that do that) will not really help.
And as I said the help that gets there (the little help I must say) is only short term solutions, it does not change the situation at all. Charities and social workers do stuff since years but did you see a REAL change? Now guess why not. It is because the government is not acting and that's the real problem. It's not us who are looking away, the people we elect are looking away and those are the people who have to be pressured, because we can keep sending money and material and social workers and teachers, if the environment doesn't change, the situation won't either.
What has to happen is that government gets enough pressure from the public (all over the world) so they would have to pump real ressources back into these regions. Houses and hospitals and schools being built, creating jobs by starting some proper businesses, release from all country depts... that's just a few things.

So when I see such a picture, you can't touch my emotional side with it. Because what I think about in such a case is that people are dying of starvation and bad health systems everywhere on this planet and on a dayly basis, not only there. The only difference is what I described above. And then I get angry because since such a long time our great governments everywhere could not get together to do something about it > raising the question, why at all are we electing those people in the first place? Are we so self important that we only elect who promises stuff for us? Or why are the parties that have good ideas about the world dismissed so fast without a deeper thought?


What these people need is an internet connection and someone that knows how to build a website. Poor starving villages in Africa could turn their entire economy and situation around by selling hand made goods to people all over the world. Canoes made from tree trunks, baskets made from leaves, etc. Some of the most talented craftsmen and women live in remote areas in Africa. If their skills were put toward the goal of making money they would have plenty to feed themselves and begin educating their children so the future generations never know the poverty they did. There is simply too much that these people know how to do for them to be dying in poverty like they are.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
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03-02-2012, 09:05 AM
RE: Saddest picture of the century.
(03-02-2012 07:52 AM)germanyt Wrote:  What these people need is an internet connection and someone that knows how to build a website. Poor starving villages in Africa could turn their entire economy and situation around by selling hand made goods to people all over the world. Canoes made from tree trunks, baskets made from leaves, etc. Some of the most talented craftsmen and women live in remote areas in Africa. If their skills were put toward the goal of making money they would have plenty to feed themselves and begin educating their children so the future generations never know the poverty they did. There is simply too much that these people know how to do for them to be dying in poverty like they are.

Sounds really good actually but would be difficult to get internet running in a place where you rarely get electricity, especially that hot, no computer will do that very long. and as long as they are poor they can't keep it cool.
But I do like the idea a lot

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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06-02-2012, 01:13 PM
RE: Saddest picture of the century.
(02-02-2012 03:55 AM)arcticspear Wrote:  
(02-02-2012 12:24 AM)Hamata k Wrote:  Failure to act to save an innocents life is almost as low as one can go. Those who merely standby and take pictures while doing nothing else are useless trash. Do not give me crap about not being involved. If you're human you're involved. Not wanting or refusing to do anything makes you lowlife scum and you deserves worse than what you failed to stop.

Ok hotshot! What have you done for mankind lately? As long as your opinion is so important, let's measure your worth and see how you pan out. How involved are you?
(31-01-2012 01:09 PM)BnW Wrote:  I don't know anything about this picture or the photographer so I can't even guess as to why he may have killed himself so won't comment on that. What I will say is that absolutely stunning picture can do more to raise awareness, calls to action and ultimately save lives (not one but many) than anything he could have done to help that one small child.

BnW, you make a lot of great points in your comments. Kevin took his own life for reasons that are personal only to him, but these feelings are quite mutual for many photojournalist that find themselves in places where people, including themselves, are helpless in every way. It sucks! We have to live with it. Unfortunately, there are people like Hamata K that have probably never been in the situations that Kevin and I have faced; ramblings of an armchair preacher.

Some people think it's easy to stand-by and take pictures and do nothing. As I said before, photojournalists are not paparazzi. There's a big difference between us and the guys that were involved in the death of Princess Di. I can tell stories about Christiane Amanpour that would curl your toes. She was one of the most heartless people I have ever met.

Then there are the few that can tell you the whole story of what happened when this guy took the shots, although they weren't there, nor do they know the 'rest of the story'... Pathetic. Some people just want to believe what they want to believe whether the facts are laid before them or not.

Each year, photojournalists and journalists alike lose their lives trying to bring the information - not just the story - but the information to those who may give a damn. The risks of journalists far outweigh the generosity shown by western civilizations.

I have gotten to the point where I can no longer look at many of the shots I took in Sudan, Somalia or Afghanistan. Even therapy doesn't help much. I found myself in the same frame of mind that Kevin was in before he took his life. This is it!!! This is life and there's no hereafter to take the pain away.
(31-01-2012 04:17 PM)germanyt Wrote:  Because numeous stories on the photo claim it was 2-3km away. And it's irrelevant whether they could have helped her or not. We will never know because he left her there. Also, who cares how many starving children like this there are? Becuase there are thousands more means it's okay to be inhuman to this child?

Germanyt... Seeing that I was there when this photo was taken, may I ask who your source was that you gleaned your information regarding a village 2-3km away?
I too lost my friend and it tore my heart out. It was a different story but the same old line. The images are still with me from the edit room. It was from the drought in Ethiopia in the 80's . People were starving to death allot like them pictures. I was working in Video tape and editing for the news. Allot couldn't be shown on the air. Death was everywhere and the young were the first to go. After this thread started I have had trouble again sleeping. Some of the images were to graphic to talk about. I was effected very much by it. That wasn't good enough for the station so they sent Curt to India to show the arm pit of the world. He taped people being burned in the street after they would die through the night. This was a normal practice and a daily thing in Calcutta. By the time Curt got home he was very sick. He picked up a fungus on his brain. They said it was in the camps in Ethiopia.
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07-02-2012, 10:50 AM
RE: Saddest picture of the century.
So many people were around to see him take this photo and complain about how he didn't help the girl. Weird how no one knows what happened to her; obviously they didn't help her either.
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07-02-2012, 01:48 PM
RE: Saddest picture of the century.
(01-02-2012 11:25 PM)germanyt Wrote:  I give up. I can't believe some of you would apologize for this. What I've done to help doesn't matter. This guy left this helpless child to die. It's inexcusable regardless of his profession.

You don't know what this man did. You are reading something on the internet sitting in your comfy chair in your comfy house. Kind of more ridiculous to me that you would continue chastising a dead man and a situation you were no where close to. If all it takes for you to make up your mind 100% about a situation is an article on the internet.. Geez..

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07-02-2012, 01:52 PM
RE: Saddest picture of the century.
(07-02-2012 01:48 PM)k37713 Wrote:  
(01-02-2012 11:25 PM)germanyt Wrote:  I give up. I can't believe some of you would apologize for this. What I've done to help doesn't matter. This guy left this helpless child to die. It's inexcusable regardless of his profession.

You don't know what this man did. You are reading something on the internet sitting in your comfy chair in your comfy house. Kind of more ridiculous to me that you would continue chastising a dead man and a situation you were no where close to. If all it takes for you to make up your mind 100% about a situation is an article on the internet.. Geez..


Are you kidding? You must be. Internet article or not, it's a fact that this guy took this picture and didn't help this girl. It's not assuming anything. It's FACT. He and everyone that was there when the photo was taken is a piece of shit.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
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07-02-2012, 02:08 PM
RE: Saddest picture of the century.
I'm really shocked at some of you who are defending this guy's actions... man... he should have at least tried to do something to save her.

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07-02-2012, 02:57 PM
RE: Saddest picture of the century.
(07-02-2012 02:08 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  I'm really shocked at some of you who are defending this guy's actions... man... he should have at least tried to do something to save her.

He was just a man, Men make mistakes. He obviously could not live with himself. Besides you of all people should forgive him knowing Jesus died for our sins, right?
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